Owen – Quality Players Lack Confidence – Look Average

Another good interview from captain Michael Owen today, where he talks about the game last Monday and how even top class players can look ordinary when their confidence dips.


Michael Owen in training – us that David Edgar marking him?
Owen talked to the Daily Telegraph today:

“I’m confident that we have the quality, but obviously over the last few weeks even quality players have been lacking the belief and confidence that can turn even quality players into ones that are playing averagely at best,”

“Hopefully that goal gives us a bit of belief because in the second half our defending was great, we passed the ball around great and we were much better than we were in the first half.”

“The position we are in obviously warrants looking over our shoulder but hopefully we can look back at the end of the season and think to ourselves, ‘Well, what was the worry about because we’ve pulled well clear.’ “

“That’s the target and obviously a point is not ideal, but with them being below us it’s not a bad result.” “If we can take that second-half performance into our own stadium in front of 50,000 Geordies supporting us we will have a great chance.”

“We looked at this week and even though we aimed for six points we thought if we get four points it would certainly push us up a few places and give us a big bit of breathing space.”

“I had two chances and scored one so I would probably take that return if I could every week,”

Michael’s a very mature young man and looked so threatening in the second half on Monday and it was a great opportunist goal he scored. But that a harder chance than the one he had after 50 minutes but he seemed to do everything right, but goalkeeper Taylor make a breathtaking reaction save to keep the ball out.

It’s also been a tough season for Michael, but he’s tough lad, and if we can get through to survival and say Michale; van get another 3-4 goals (at least) for us in the last 8 games, things will start to look a lot happier for everybody concerned.

And Michael will be a stronger character and a better player for all his travails this season. It’s obvious that Kevin will build his attack around Michael in the summer, because the way he put the ball home on Monday says to us, there’s a lot more goals in Michael at Newcastle than we had realized.

What do you think?

Comments welcome.

48 comments so far

  • Chicken

    Mar 19, 2008 at 1:12 PM

    Comment #1

    Ed – you can’t blame him for not taking that chance in the 509th minute – the poor lad must have been knackered! 😉


    Mar 19, 2008 at 1:12 PM

    Comment #2

    Build The attack around Owen and Martins because they are the only two strikers IMO worth keeping.

  • Spyro

    Mar 19, 2008 at 1:18 PM

    Comment #3

    lets not build a team around owen, i would rather he went in the summer, his wages are too high and he is not worth his wages. There are better strikers who will take less wages out there.

  • tdt

    Mar 19, 2008 at 1:19 PM

    Comment #4

    keep owen, martins and young andy, get rid of viduka in the summer, buy some1 great 2 replace im. buy a new midfield (except n’zog) and most of a new defence, please kev and Mr Ashley 🙂

  • Yorkie Dave

    Mar 19, 2008 at 1:32 PM

    Comment #5

    Just seen on the news that police have raided Birmingham City regarding fraud. This unfortunately couldhave a silver lining for our club and could bring a points deduction to them and relegate them!!! Its not the best way to secure our sevilval but puts saturdays game as the biggest of the season.

  • Bill F

    Mar 19, 2008 at 1:33 PM

    Comment #6

    Well bu**er me who would have thought of that, bad results cause lack of confidence. Well done Michael. Working on that premise we need a few wins or have I misunderstood what he is saying. After all I am no fsyhcolo, psyicolorui, syckologis, s*d it, brain doctor.


    Mar 19, 2008 at 1:36 PM

    Comment #7

    OWEN MARTINS VIDUKA. fantastic! Sell AMEOBI and SMITH and bring in GOMIS as replacement and the future is ours!

  • Betting on the Toon

    Mar 19, 2008 at 1:47 PM

    Comment #8

    I’ve always been impressed with Owen’s mental toughness and he’s had a few spells in his career when his form and ability to return from serious injury was questioned and he always responded with goals – just like he has done recently. It’s fairly obvious what he says that a series of defeats spreads a lack of confidence but hopefully after a much-improved second half at Birmingham and a decent win over Fulham then the confidence throughout the side will be back.

  • Saulius Mikoliunas

    Mar 19, 2008 at 1:51 PM

    Comment #9

    I think the performance is very good. The players is very better in second half. The team is more capable of scoring a goal. If the team is same and the feeling is same for the Fulham match then the result is good. I have hope.

  • Ian

    Mar 19, 2008 at 2:33 PM

    Comment #10

    Martins is the main man for me, I wouldnt renew Owens contract this summer but I would spend a fortune on two brilliant central midfielders, if Zog is going try to entice Bellamy back for that position, then see what Owen does with this ‘service’ that everyone says he will be so brilliant with, if he starts coming up with the goods in the early part of next season offer him a contract based on that performance, a decent pay if he is good, an average one if he is average and none if he cant make anything of it at all, if he doesnt cut it place Bellamy at the front alongside Martins and put Duff back on the left wing. We have to toughen up if we are going to try to move forward, once we move up the table again then top class World players will look more closely at Newcastle.

  • Plex

    Mar 19, 2008 at 2:37 PM

    Comment #11

    In The Summer This Is What Needs To Be Done.

    Keep Given And Harper

    Keep Training Our Young Ones And Dont Ofload Any Like We Did With Carick

    Defence – Keep Taylor, Beye And Enrique But Bring In A New Lb, And Rb So They Have To Work For There Place

    Midfield – Keep N,Zog, Milner, And Maybe Duff If He Performs In The Summer Friendlies

    Attack – Keep Martins And Owen Get Them Bonded So They Play Well Together, Give Caroll A Run Of Games.

    Buy – Riise, Diego, Deco, Meretesacker, And Someone Like Gudjohnson With Prem Experiance Who Would Be Willing To Leave Barca

  • dingo

    Mar 19, 2008 at 2:46 PM

    Comment #12

    I know is a typo Ed but I think that it has indeed been 509 minutes since Owen scored last 😛

  • Hadrian

    Mar 19, 2008 at 2:53 PM

    Comment #13

    owens a marekting dream , i doubt a sports tycoon like ashley would want to part with such a marketing tool for his brand .

  • Spyro

    Mar 19, 2008 at 2:54 PM

    Comment #14

    good point hadrian

  • ObaFan2

    Mar 19, 2008 at 3:08 PM

    Comment #15

    Although Owen is a player who can find the goal he has never reached that 20 goal mark in a season with any club.

    I’d stick with Oba as our main threat and would like to see how the partnership between Oba n Owen works for the rest of the season.

    Midfield is where we have to strengthen (as well as the usual cb’s ! ).We need more creativity and Emre has decided to go missing when we could really do with him.

    Surprisingly with any of our wingers, Zog,Duff and Milner they work hard and play well but cannot deliver decent deliveries into the danger area.

    Even Oba on the left caused more problems than our “wingers” and Geremi should never take another corner.

  • Dunc

    Mar 19, 2008 at 3:13 PM

    Comment #16

    Heh heh… what’s he marketing Hadrian??

    Womens underwear for plus size models?? Oh no that’s Frank Lampard 🙂

    Owen has been found out for me!!! Lacking pace now and only able to use his right foot. Don’t get me wrong, he gets some good goals and is sharp anywhere in the box 1st and 2nd ball, but I’d much sooner see Oba in the side.

    He worries defences with his pace which I think is on a par with Torres. He’s strong and can crack a ball from anywhere. It was Oba making something of a ball the other night that led to Owens goal. And I thought it was horrendous to take him off. My mate (an Oldham fan, but we’ll not talk about that eh) was astounded at Martins being replaced.

    I thought they’d take Duke off and move Owen and Oba up front letting Zog on the left. Surprised to say the least at this decision.

    I agree that Owen won’t go unless he’s pushed or Liverfool want him (HA HA!!! Yeah!!! Right he’s not top 4) and he won’t be pushed.

    We need some quality to provide the confidence is what I’d say to Michael in response to this statement!!!!!

  • faustino

    Mar 19, 2008 at 3:16 PM

    Comment #17

    TBH there is nothing about Oba I’ve ever seen that would class him as an out and out striker. He’s hardly a Lineker is he? I would be as bold to say he is more along the lines of Pedro i.e. the missing link between midfield and the front. If only we could somehow give Oba Peter’s brain!

    And please lads Owen with any sort of service is deadly. Have patience.

  • Spyro

    Mar 19, 2008 at 3:18 PM

    Comment #18

    Dunc we have Owen to thank for getting us on the front cover of the latest pro evolutio soccer game.

  • James

    Mar 19, 2008 at 3:23 PM

    Comment #19

    Faustino – completely agree.

    Owen with service is deadly. If we had Bently, Owen would score loads next season.

    No way should he be sold. Keep him and Martins, and get two more quality strikers in. Viduka is too lazy, and Carroll is not good enough.

    We all know our problem area is midfield and CB.

    Left back and Right back are locked in. Beye and Enrique are class acts.

  • Spyro

    Mar 19, 2008 at 3:29 PM

    Comment #20

    The way you lot go on about f****n Owen you would think he is the only finisher left in football. For gods sake he is getting wages way over what he is worth and there are other finishers who are not vertically challenged, stronger and faster who we could get if we offered them less than what we pay Owen.

  • Spyro

    Mar 19, 2008 at 3:30 PM

    Comment #21

    Does the fact that we cannot SELL HIM stand testimony to what i just said

  • James

    Mar 19, 2008 at 3:40 PM

    Comment #22

    Spyro – name one who would actually come here and not one of the top four?

    KK will not sell Owen

  • Spyro

    Mar 19, 2008 at 3:45 PM

    Comment #23

    Djibril cisse

  • Spyro

    Mar 19, 2008 at 3:51 PM

    Comment #24

    Kerzhakov would have been a good signing in january, but no, instead we let him go to flippin dinamo moscow

  • Mike

    Mar 19, 2008 at 3:52 PM

    Comment #25

    If his wages are the only knock towards Owen then thats not right…Who cares how much Ashley is paying him, the club is financially healthy and will continue to be in the future. Owen is a great player and with good service can become a great striker in the EPL again.

    But come on, his wages mean nothing, its not coming from your pocket.

    If you want to pinch every penny and only get low wage players well you should go cheer a League 1 side.

    NUFC is a big club and needs to act like it


    Mar 19, 2008 at 3:53 PM

    Comment #26

    owen is class and always has been

    disagree with you spyro

    has had is fair share of injuries year after year – at madrid got all those goals from the bench. and hasnt been fit and the toon and had no service all year.

    you talk about finshers, he is world class, maybe not what he used to be. but shearer couldnt score without service, ferdinand too.

    strikers who are prolific goal scorers need;

    through balls from midfield – currenlty no one doing the job
    and wingers to deliver too – not happening enough either

  • Spyro

    Mar 19, 2008 at 3:53 PM

    Comment #27

    i would even go after Cassano if we could get for cheap, he would be a class replacement for Smith

  • Spyro

    Mar 19, 2008 at 3:55 PM

    Comment #28

    the thing is, you talk about through balls, but how many defenders can Owen actually beat to a ball over long distance? not many

    How many defenders can Owen shrug off or beat in a physical battle? not many

  • Spyro

    Mar 19, 2008 at 3:56 PM

    Comment #29

    People keep saying he is world class, but why is he world class? what makes him world class? because of what he did years ago? not sayin he is crap, just overrated and overpaid

  • Spyro

    Mar 19, 2008 at 3:59 PM

    Comment #30

    so mike, becaus enufc have money it should be blown on paying players wages they are quite frankly not earning?

  • Spyro

    Mar 19, 2008 at 4:02 PM

    Comment #31

    World class are strikers who can finish and create out of nothing, Anelka, Eduardo, Ibrahimovic, Robinho etc

    Owen doesnt deserve to be in the same category as those


    Mar 19, 2008 at 4:03 PM

    Comment #32

    granted overpaid – but that was the only way we could get him over the other clubs.

    and although at the moment i wouldnt say he is as clinical as he has been, but i honestly believe he is getting back to form – and its the same as shearer when he was out takes time to come back.

    i does know where the back of the net is, and he is the best goalscorer of out generation for england – above shearer

    that must count for soemthing – and the reason he did better for england is better supply.

    you have better players around him creates more space for him

  • Spyro

    Mar 19, 2008 at 4:08 PM

    Comment #33

    fair enough NUFC, but if we aint got the players for him then he needs to move on, i do not believe you should ever build a team around one player. Building a team around 4 or 5 key players is fine, but not one player. We always make excuses for Owen. People have to realise that his characterisitics LIMIT our goal scoring opportunites. No pace – so no through balls behind the defenders are going to work unless he is already inside the box, No Height – So no long balls over the top. We need a striker who allows us to be more varied in our attacking approach. Even Arsenal use long balls now.

  • Spyro

    Mar 19, 2008 at 4:09 PM

    Comment #34

    I know Owen is not crap, and if he was taller and a bit faster then he would probably score the goals to justify what he is getting paid for, and could then be called world class, but the simple fact is he ain tall or fast.


    Mar 19, 2008 at 4:16 PM

    Comment #35

    agree with what you are saying – shame you cant mould martins and owen into one!

  • Spyro

    Mar 19, 2008 at 4:23 PM

    Comment #36

    i might be wrong, but It seems as though Martins has improved his shooting, not so wild anymore. so if he just learns from Owen how to react quicker, time his runs and think ahead of play, then he will trully be world class despite his height

  • ScottyT

    Mar 19, 2008 at 4:24 PM

    Comment #37

    i think weve got to play oba and owen together in every game until the end of the season. in the few time theyve played together theyve looked dangerous and again on monday it was an oba shot which was saved that owen put in. i also remember obas cross for owen vs wigan.

    give them a chance upfront together or with viduka as well and see what they can do


    Mar 19, 2008 at 4:27 PM

    Comment #38


    then get more players with pace and height in the summer.

    but one step at a time!!

    do like the three up front combo

  • James

    Mar 19, 2008 at 4:32 PM

    Comment #39

    OWEN DOESN’T NEED PACE – He thinks quicker than any defender. Thats why he beat 5 defenders to the ball and scored on Monday. His reading of the game and situations puts him in position befor the defender is there. Hence why he continues to score goals and always will.

    Lineker never had great pace but continued to score loads of goals well into his career because he was in position before anyone else was. Owen is exactly the same.

  • Ed Harrison

    Mar 19, 2008 at 4:32 PM

    Comment #40

    509 minutes – obviously another Freudian slip. 😀
    ScottyT – we agree – in the second half Oba and Michael caused Birmingham a lot of trouble and the goal was typical of that.
    Owen and Martins were moving around the penalty area and the Brum defenders were petrified. And again, as you say, it was a Martins assist for Owen. But we want to see that somersault on Saturday form Oba – perhaps a couple.
    But they both looked very good in that second half.
    Prediction for first 45 minutes Saturday – Newcastle 3-0 up. If that’s true we should go all in second half to vastly improve our goal difference.


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